• For Immediate Release
    August 24, 2018 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Chris Cutrone 512-305-8483

CPRIT Surpasses $2 Billion Milestone with 64 New Grants


AUSTIN – Today, with the approval of 64 new research, product development, and prevention grants totaling more than $177 million, the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded $2.15 billion of the $3 billion approved by Texas voters in 2007 to fight cancer.

“CPRIT has reached a significant milestone, which is only possible due to the support of Texans, their elected representatives, and our partner institutions and grantees,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer. “As a result of this historical undertaking, Texas is developing into a world class center of cancer research and prevention as our state’s institutions grow in international prominence.”

CPRIT’s Academic Research program awarded 51 new grants today to 16 different Texas institutions, including a Core Facility Support Award to Texas Southern University, a first-time CPRIT grantee. The Core Facilities awards make cutting edge technology available to multiple research institutions through financial support for capital investment and technical expertise. CPRIT also awarded 25 High Impact/High Risk grants for exploratory projects targeting new avenues of cancer research. The five new Multi-Investigator Research Awards bring together investigators in collaborative and cross-disciplinary research projects with promising clinical translation that will directly benefit patients. The 11 new recruitment awards expand Texas’ growing pool of the best and brightest researchers with the potential to make significant advances for cancer science.

CPRIT grantees stretching across Texas will provide evidence-based prevention services for tobacco cessation, liver cancer, HPV vaccination, breast cancer screening, and the prevention of obesity related cancers because of 10 new prevention awards. Grants for smoking cessation services for low-income pregnant women in Northeast Texas, and hepatitis B and C screening of the homeless target the needs of some of Texas’ most vulnerable citizens. Other grants awarded today expand cancer prevention services to rural and medically underserved populations and will directly impact the lives of thousands of Texans.

Three companies will start work on innovative cancer treatments with the support of CPRIT’s Texas Company Product Development Research Awards approved today. Korysso Therapeutics is developing novel medicines to prevent the side effects of chemotherapy based on technology designed at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. CerRx, Inc. is working on a new cancer drug expected to have improved effectiveness and fewer side-effects than current treatments. Formation Biologics is creating an innovative pipeline of anti-cancer biotherapeutics designed to kill cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.

CPRIT has awarded 1,317 grants totaling more than $2.15 billion. During the 85th Texas Legislature, CPRIT’s Sunset Review date was extended by two years to 2023 to allow the agency to use fully all funds approved by Texas voters.

See the attached list for all 64 grants awarded.

About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.15 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached Texans from all 254 counties of the state, brought 159 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 4.7 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.texas.gov. Follow CPRIT at twitter.com/CPRITTexas and facebook.com/CPRITTexas.

ACADEMIC RESEARCH AWARDS

Multi-Investigator Research Awards – Five grants totaling $29,941,949

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Metabolic Enablers of Melanoma Progression (Sean Morrison) — $5,998,327
  • Targeting Tumor Tissues Increases DNA Sensing to Bridge Innate and Adaptive Immunity (Yang-Xin Fu) – $6,000,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • BRCA Answers from Cancer Interactome Structures (BACIS) (John Tainer) – $5,969,140
  • Rational Combination Treatment Options to Reverse Resistance in Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer Refractory to Standard Therapy (Kelly Hunt) – $5,992,274

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Predictive Biomarkers and Novel Therapies for High-Risk Pediatric Liver Cancers (Dolores Lopez-Terrada) – $5,982,208

High Impact High Risk Awards – 25 grants totaling $4,998,787

Baylor College of Medicine

  • The Early-Life Exposome and Risk of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Philip Lupo) – $199,140
  • Controlling the Activity of Anticancer T Cells by Inducing Replicative Senescence (Maksim Mamonkin) – $200,000
  • Regulating Androgen Receptor as a Corepressor by Neurofibromin (NF1) (Eric Chang) – $200,000
  • Targeting MYCN-Driven Metabolism in Neuroblastoma (Eveline Barbieri) – $200,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Targeted Proteolysis of Glucocorticoid Receptor as a Therapeutic Strategy in Antiandrogen Treatment–Resistant Prostate Cancer) (Yonathan Lissanu Deribe) – $199,999

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Lung Cancer (Neal Alto) – $200,000
  • Autoimmune-Prone Mouse Models for Studying Immune-Related Adverse Events Associated With Cancer Immunotherapy (Nan Yan) – $200,000
  • Integrative Analysis of Structural Variants in Cancer Genomes (Jian Xu) – $200,000
  • Methods for Assessment and Quantification of Imperfect dsDNA Break Repair (Zbyszek Otwinowski) – $200,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • TREX2 Inhibitors to Treat BCR-ABL-Cancers (E. Paul Hasty) – $200,000
  • A Novel Anti-BCR-ABL Approach for Leukemia Therapy (Hai Rao) – $200,000

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Noninvasive Diagnostic Imaging of Brain Cancer Using Hyperpolarized 13C-Labeled L-Tryptophan and L-Methionine (Lloyd Lumata) – $200,000
  • Molecular Opening of the Blood-Brain Barrier by Molecular Hyperthermia (Zhenpeng Qin) – $200,000

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Targeting BRAF- and RAS-Mutant Cancers by Small Molecule–Induced Proteolysis of ERK1/2 (Kevin Dalby) – $200,000
  • Engineering Cancer Immunotherapeutics for Enhanced Activity in the Low pH Tumor Microenvironment (Jennifer Maynard) – $200,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Fluorescently Labeled Somatostatin Analogs for Image-Guided Surgery in Neuroendocrine Tumors (Ali Azhdarinia) – $200,000

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Hyperthermia to Improve Chemotherapeutic Efficacy in HIPEC (Ashley Holder) – $199,998
  • Developing a Clinically Relevant Drug Testing Platform (Kyuson Yun) – $199,700

Texas A&M University

  • Targeting the Menopause Transition to Decrease the Risk for Obesity-Associated Postmenopausal Breast Cancer (Erin Giles) – $200,000

The University of Houston

  • Chemoprevention of Colon Cancer Progression in FAP Children (Ming Hu) – $200,000

Baylor University

  • Small Molecule for Selective Targeting of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition–Induced Cancer Stem Cells (Joe Taube) – $199,951

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Cyanine-Conjugated Kinase Inhibitors (Cy-KIs) as Potential Glioblastoma Theranostics (Raquel Sitcheran) – $200,000

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Polymer Nanodiscs: Novel Lipoprotein-Mimicking Nanocarriers With High Stability and Long Circulation Time for Enhanced Anticancer Drug Delivery (Hongjun Liang) – $200,000

Rice University

  • Molecular Targeted Magnetic Resonance Reporter for Cancer Detection (Daniel Carson) – $200,000

Texas Tech University

  • Microfluidic Cancer Assay for Liquid Biopsies and Early Detection (Dimitri Pappas) – $199,999

Core Facility Support Awards — 10 grants totaling $45,215,573

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Integrated Single Cell Genomics Core Facility (Nicholas Navin) – $4,897,577
  • Pediatric Solid Tumors Comprehensive Data Resource Core (Richard Gorlick) – $5,005,246
  • Protein Array and Analysis Core (PAAC) (Mark Bedford) – $2,594,107

Baylor College of Medicine

  • CARMIT (Children’s Access to Regenerative Medicine in Texas) (Adrian Gee) – $5,306,052
  • Advanced Multiparameter Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core (Christine Beeton) – $5,177,994

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Preclinical Radiation Core Facility (PCRCF) (Michael Story) – $3,723,260
  • Pediatric Cancer Data Core (Yang Xie) – $5,394,842

Texas Southern University

  • GCC Center for Comprehensive PK/PD and Formulation (Dong Liang) – $5,106,420

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Small Animal Imaging Core Facility for Cancer Research at UT Dallas (Kenneth Hoyt) – $3,580,949

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • UTHealth Cancer Genomics Core (UTHealth CGC) (Zhongming Zhao) — $4,429,126

Recruitment of Established Investigator Awards* — Two grants totaling $12,000,000

  • Peng Wang, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Georgia State University – $6,000,000
  • Anke Henning, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics – $6,000,000

Recruitment of Rising Stars Awards* – One grant totaling $4,000,000

  • Chao Cheng, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth – $4,000,000

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Awards* – Eight grants totaling $16,000,000

  • Xuebing Wu, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – $2,000,000
  • Yejing Ge, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from The Rockefeller University – $2,000,000
  • Tao Wu, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Yale University School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Glen Liszczak, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Princeton University – $2,000,000
  • Peter Ly, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from University of California San Diego School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Fuguo Jiang, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from the University of California, Berkeley – $2,000,000
  • Can Cenik, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas at Austin from Stanford University School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Kenneth Chen, MD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – $2,000,000

*Recruitment grants awarded indicate only approval to negotiate offers; at the time of release candidates have not accepted offers.

AWARDED PREVENTION GRANTS

Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations Awards – Two grants totaling $4,191,199

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Adolescent Vaccination Program (AVP): Expanding a Successful Clinic-based Multicomponent HPV Vaccination Program to the San Antonio Area (Sally W. Vernon) – $1,598,468

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • STOP-HCC Expansion Grant (Mamta Jain) – $2,592,731

Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer Screening Awards – Two grants totaling $2,671,901

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

  • Increasing Access to Smoking Cessation and Smoke Free Home Services for Low-Income Pregnant Women in Northeast Texas (Janice A. Blalock) – $1,346,919

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Tobacco Services for Primary Care & Cancer Patients at UT Health San Antonio (Amelie G. Ramirez) – $1,324,982

Evidence-Based Cancer Prevention Services Awards – Six grants totaling $7,459,279

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Vaccinating medically underserved women against HPV (Abbey B. Berenson) – $1,344,926

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • BPAN4: Optimizing Spatial Access to High-Quality Breast Screening & Patient Navigation for Rural Underserved Women across North Texas (Simon Craddock Lee) – $1,349,700

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso

  • Pasos Para Prevenir Cancer: Obesity-related Cancer Prevention in El Paso (Jennifer J. Salinas) – $1,244,512

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • HPV Vaccination in a Pediatric Minority-Based Community Oncology Network (Allison Grimes) – $1,010,690

Centro San Vicente

  • West Texas HCV Screening and Linkage to Care Program (Patricia Gallegos) – $1,349,700

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Liver Cancer Prevention among those with Experiences of Homelessness (Vanessa R. Schick) – $1,159,751

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH AWARDS

Texas Company Product Development Awards – Three grants totaling $50,587,540

Formation Biologics Corp.

  • Clinical Evaluation of AVID100, a Highly Potent Antibody-Drug Conjugate, Focusing on Cancer Indications With High Unmet Medical Need (Ilia Tikhomirov) – $18,850,000

Korysso Therapeutics, Inc.

  • Development of KOR-8287 for the Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Chemo Brain (Libby Handel) – $19,953,624

CerRx, Inc.

  • Combination Drug Therapy for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (Kerry Barnhart) – $11,783,916

###